Each year the Pennington SWCD presents the Rural Beautification Award to a rural landowner who has incorporated landscaping and conservation practices on their property. The winner is honored with an article about their home in the local paper, in the SWCD newsletter, and during the Pennington SWCD Annual Banquet in April.
2021 Rural Beautification Winners
Mike & Kami Spears
from Rocksbury Township
WOW! will be your initial thought as you take in the breathtaking beauty of Mike and Kami Spears meticulously manicured yard. The yard exhibits a large variety of trees and flowers, Kami’s tomato café, and Mike’s vegetable garden. It’s accented with fun antiques, creative decorations, and personal items that complement the couple’s personalities. Evidence of Mike’s hard work is reflected in a beautiful brick planter that not only displays petunias and yellow snapdragons, but frolicking bees and butterflies as well.
As a young bride, Kami always wanted to have a big yard. Unknown to her, Mike was working on that dream and surprised her one day with an acre of land near the river in Rocksbury Township. It didn’t take long before they built their home and started sculpting the yard into what it is today. But as life goes, Mother Nature threw them a curve ball recently when they lost a whole row of 25-year-old trees to Dutch Elm Disease. New trees have been planted in their place, but it will take a few years before the shade returns.
When you stand back and look over the yard you see the labor of love and passion Kami has put into it. Her time spent outside mowing, weed whacking, and watering the flowers is a tribute to her love of gardening. Her gift for using whimsical recycled items like old wash tubs, coffee pots, wooden barrels, toy wagons, and toolboxes (which remind her of her dad) gives testament to her artistic creativity. As your eyes roam from feature to feature, you can quickly spot her favorite color, yellow. Many of the accent items like the wind chimes, bench, wishing well, water pump, and windmill are near and dear to the couple as they were gifted to them by family and friends.
Let’s not leave out the couple’s four children, (Grant, Devin, Shawna, and Trista), who have also put their stamp on the property. Grant and Devin helped their father build the back deck where folks love to gather and relax. The spruce tree that stands in the front yard was an Arbor Day kindergarten tree that their son, Devin, received from the Pennington SWCD. Shawna used her artistic talents to create a bird themed display that is exhibited along the side of the house and Trista is constantly seeking out new and unusual plants, like the ever-allusive popcorn plant (and yes, it does really smell like popcorn) to add to the families love of nature.
Thank you, Spears Family, for making Pennington County a more beautiful place to live.